Kiambu Governor Ferdinard Waititu last evening launched phase one of Ruiru Market that will act as the holding market for over 600 traders as his government constructs an ultra-modern market in the area that will host over 2,500 traders. The construction of the market has been funded by the World Bank through Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Project (NAMSIP). The launch of the holding market happened in an event that was attended by over 1,000 residents but was free from the glare of cameras and the media.
Speaking during the launch, Governor Waititu said that the project is one of the several being implemented under his leadership to boost trade in the county. “We are encouraging entrepreneurship and manufacturing in the county because we want to be globally competitive,” he said, “this market is therefore among the several we are constructing to ensure that traders have access to market for their products.”
The market is set to operate 24 hours a day after Waititu’s government fitted it with spotlights. The market is also manned by county security. It has an ablution block and constant water supply among other amenities.
With the relocation of the traders commencing today, the construction of the new market shall begin next week and is expected to be completed in a record four months at a cost of 201 million. The traders who will be affected by the construction have been compensated with an inconvenience fee. They shall also be the main occupants of the new market and will get to choose their trading space of preference.
The ultra-modern market is expected to improve the ranking of the county as one of the best in ease of doing businesses. It is one of the projects that will support the implementation of the Big Four Agenda proposed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee Manifesto. It is expected to assist in raising the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP from the current 8.5% to 15% and to create over one million jobs in the sector.
Present during the launch was the area MCA Elijah Njoroge, trade department officials and other county leaders. Elijah said that the County Government is committed to ensure all traders operate in a conducive environment.
“I have also asked the contractor to consider employing our Ruiru people and Kiambu residents at large as the first priority so that employment creation starts now; and once complete, this market of will have sufficient stalls and stores for all of us, a bigger parking, hotels and other amenities where you will enjoy and have space for doing your businesses,” the Governor added.
The new market is a reprieve to over 2,000 traders operating in the current open air market. The state of the market is in deplorable conditions as it lacks shelters to shield the traders from direct sunlight and rain, has no drainage, water or sanitary facilities. The market has come under critic from different players who have been calling for its upgrade.